Chicken, Spinach and ricotta are stuffed into aldente Manicotti shells, covered in fresh tomato sauce and cheese to make a healthy and decadent meal.
Right now I’m really thankful that I have this meal in my back pocket, both for the blog and for my hungry stomach.
You see I was rolling through my photos hoping that I had an un published recipe somewhere in the midst to share with you guys and realized that I hadn’t been shopping in a couple weeks and we have nothing planned for dinner. Man is my brain frazzled. Luckily my over achieving self prepared a couple of meals ahead of time for just such moments. One of those meals I happened to stumble upon in my photos that has yet to make an appearance here on the blog.
I actually got the original recipe from Mavis, whose blog I’m a little obsessed with. Chuck approved and well now it’s a staple in my “I don’t want to cook” arsenal, because it being in the freezer means it only needs to be heated and served. Did I mention it’s healthy? And Chuck likes it? Yes it is a winner.
I want to mention while manicotti is perfectly fine, and in fact that is what is shown in these pictures it also goes well for stuffed shells or even a lasagna adaptation if you want to give them a shot.
My version uses ricotta and my homemade tomato sauce, because that’s how we like it around here, but the cottage cheese used in the original version with your favorite premade sauce, I’m sure is delicious too. I also used frozen spinach, because I always have a ton of it and it takes one more step out of the whole process making it that much easier.
- 1 lb chicken, cooked & shredded
- 1 package frozen spinach, thawed and liquid removed
- 16 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 to 4 cups of tomato sauce
- 9 manicotti shells prepared according to package instructions
- 1 ½ cups fresh grates mozzarella cheese
- In a large bowl combine the chicken, spinach, ricotta, and spices.
- Like a 9x13 baking pan with about ⅓ of the spaghetti sauce.
- Using your hands gently stuff the manicotti shells until they are full and place them in the baking pan.
- Cover the shells with the rest of the sauce (more or less depending on preference) and top with mozzarella cheese.
- To cook immediately: Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- To Freeze & Cook: Cover the pan with foil and freeze while flat. Cook covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then uncover and continue to cook for another 30 to 40 minutes or until heated through.